This time of year, it’s easy to use busyness as an excuse not to have people over.  Why not do the opposite and use it as an excuse to invite people into your home?  Your friends and neighbors are probably longing for a few hours to finally get their holiday packages wrapped and their Christmas cards addressed.  Why not get together for cookies and warm drinks and tackle these tasks together?

Repurpose your chic leather umbrella holder to corral festive holiday papers, store shirt boxes in a magazine rack, or use special “Grinch” boxes (all by Global Views) to avoid wrapping all together!  A contemporary tiered tray is the perfect place for ribbons, bows, tape, and scissors and dozens of delicious whoopie pies!

The trendiest food going right now is most certainly the whoopie pie.  A hint of nostalgia, this cookie is sure to be perfect for this time of year–especially if it has a holiday twist to it!  Try this gingerbread one at your next get together (our installers just enjoyed these as a take away at their annual holiday breakfast last week):

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies:
from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell (the book is adorable–you must own it and display it–it’s a conversation starter every time!)

4 cups flour
1 1/2 t ground ginger
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon

1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1/2 t ground cloves

1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 T vegetable shortening
3/4 c (packed) brown sugar
1 large egg
3/4 c molasses
3/4 c buttermilk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Sift together dry ingredients and set aside.  Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, whip butter, shortening, and brown sugar until fluffy and smooth (about 5 minutes).  Add egg and beat until combined, then add the molasses.  Add the buttermilk and flour mixture alternately until combined.  Portion dough using a heaping tablespoon, placing about 12 cookies per sheet.  Bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before filling:

Maple Cream Filling

1/2 c butter (room temperature)

2 c confectioners sugar
1 T milk

2 T maple syrup
Beat the butt
er on low speed until creamy.  Slowly add remaining ingredients and whip 3-4 minutes, scraping the bowl sides frequently.

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